Saturday, May 04, 2013

Earliest Nomina Sacra

The image at right is from here.

The “Meta-Data” of Earliest Christian Manuscripts

The Continuing Debate:

The “nomina sacra”, a set of words given special treatment by copyists in ancient Christian manuscripts, continues to be a subject of debate about what the practice signifies and how it originated. The words in question are written in a unique abbreviated form with a curious horizontal stroke placed over the abbreviation. The earliest and most consistently treated words are the Greek words for “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” and “Christ. These words are written as nomina sacra in the earliest clear instances of them in Christian manuscripts, which take us as far back as the second century CE.

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